Global Practice on Water, The World Bank
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Impact evaluation, Applied microeconomics
Global Practice on Water, The World Bank
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Last updated June 26, 2023
George Joseph is a Senior Economist with the Water Global Practice of the World Bank, Washington, DC. His research interests are centered on development economics and behavioral and applied microeconomics. He received his PhD in economics from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and an MA in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-10) Joseph, George ; Wodon, QuentinConcerns have been raised about the impact of rising food prices worldwide on the poor. To assess the (short term) impact of rising food prices in any particular country it is necessary to look at both the impact on food producers (who benefit from an increase in prices) and food consumers (who loose out when the price increases), with a focus on poor producers and consumers. In Mali the impact of a change in the price of rice is not ambiguous because about half of the rice consumed in the country is imported, so that the negative impact for consumers is much larger than the positive impact for producers. By contrast, for millet and sorghum, as well as corn, the impact is more ambiguous since much of the consumption is locally produced. Using a recent and comprehensive household survey, this paper provides an assessment of the potential impact of higher food prices on the poor in Mali using both simple statistical analysis and non-parametric methods. The paper finds that rising food prices for rice, millet and sorghum, corn, as well as wheat and bread could together lead to a substantial increase in poverty, with the increase in the price of rice having by far the largest negative impact.
Potential Impact of Higher Food Prices on Poverty : Summary Estimates for a Dozen West and Central African Countries(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-10) Wodon, Quentin ; Tsimpo, Clarence ; Backiny-Yetna, Prospere ; Joseph, George ; Adoho, Franck ; Coulombe, HaroldConcerns have been raised about the impact of rising food prices worldwide on the poor. To assess the impact of rising food prices in any particular country it is necessary to look at both the impact on food producers who are poor or near-poor and could benefit from an increase in prices and food consumers who are poor or near-poor and would loose out when the price increases. In most West and Central African countries, the sign (positive or negative) of the impact is not ambiguous because a substantial share of food consumption is imported, so that the negative impact for consumers is larger than the positive impact for net sellers of locally produced foods. Yet even if the sign of the impact is clear, its magnitude is not. Using a set of recent and comprehensive household surveys, this paper summarizes findings from an assessment of the potential impact of higher food prices on the poor in a dozen countries. Rising food prices for rice, wheat, maize, and other cereals as well as for milk, sugar and vegetable oils could lead to a substantial increase in poverty in many of the countries. At the same time, the data suggest that the magnitude of the increase in poverty between different countries is likely to be different. Finally, the data suggest that a large share of the increase in poverty will consist of deeper levels of poverty among households who are already poor, even if there will also be a larger number of poor households in the various countries.
Publication(Taylor and Francis, 2016-09-06) Parra, Juan Carlos ; Joseph, George ; Wodon, QuentinThe international community recently adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Achieving these goals by 2030 will require major commitments and efforts. It will also require cooperation between multiple groups and stakeholders, both nationally and internationally. An interesting question is whether religious diversity and the evocation of religion tend to be conducive to “social cooperation” between individuals from various religious traditions. We refer here to social cooperation in a fairly broad sense, but we focus in this paper on specific measures of altruism and trustworthiness between individuals of various different religious affiliations.
Understanding the Geographical Distribution of Stunting in Tanzania: A Geospatial Analysis of the 2015-16 Demographic and Health Survey(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-01) Joseph, George ; Gething, Peter W. ; Bhatt, Samir ; Ayling, Sophie C.E.Tanzania is home to the third highest population of stunted children in Sub-Saharan Africa, with about 2.7 million children under the age of five failing to reach their full potential of growth attainment compared with the reference population as per the World Health Organization standards. Several studies have shown that stunted growth during childhood entraps the future of children in a vicious circle of recurrent diseases, reduced human development, and lower earnings, thus increasing their likelihood of being poor when they grow up. To reduce stunting, the Government of Tanzania and development partners are introducing a convergence of multisectoral interventions adapted to local needs. However, the existing stunting data are representative only at higher administrative levels, thus making it difficult to implement these efforts. The paper uses the 2016 geo-referenced Demographic and Health Survey in conjunction with relevant spatially gridded covariate data, such as nighttime lights, water and sanitation access, vegetation index, travel time, and so on. Geospatial techniques, such as model-based statistics and Bayesian inference implemented using the INLA algorithm, along with appropriate model validation exercises are employed to develop high-resolution maps of stunting in Tanzania at 1×1-kilometer spatial resolution. The maps show that areas of consistently high stunting rates tend to be more common in rural parts of the country, especially throughout the western and southwestern border areas. There is high prevalence of low stunting in the urban areas around Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Dodoma, as well as in the south of Lake Victoria.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-03) Andres, Luis ; Chellaraj, Gnanaraj ; Das Gupta, Basab ; Grabinsky, Jonathan ; Joseph, GeorgeThis paper utilizes information from the 2015 Nigeria National Water and Sanitation Survey to identify the extent and timing of the failure of water schemes in the country and the factors affecting it. Around 46 percent of all the water schemes in Nigeria are nonfunctional, and approximately 30 percent are likely to fail in the first year. The results indicate that during the first year of operation, factors that can be controlled in the design, implementation, and operational stages contribute to the failure of 61 percent of the water schemes. As water schemes age, their likelihood of failure is best predicted by factors that cannot be modified. The influence of operational factors, such as repairs and maintenance, decreases slightly over time.
Why Are So Many Water Points in Nigeria Non-Functional?: An Empirical Analysis of Contributing Factors(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-03) Andres, Luis ; Chellaraj, Gnanaraj ; Das Gupta, Basab ; Grabinsky, Jonathan ; Joseph, GeorgeThis paper utilizes information from the 2015 Nigeria National Water and Sanitation Survey to identify the extent, timing, as well as reasons for the failure of water points. The paper finds that more than 38 percent of all improved water points are nonfunctional. The results indicate that nearly 27 percent of the water points are likely to fail in the first year of construction, while nearly 40 percent are likely to fail in the long run (after 8-10 years). The paper considers the reasons behind these failures, looking at whether they can or cannot be controlled. During the first year, a water point's location -- the political region and underlying hydrogeology -- has the greatest impact on functionality. Other factors—specifically, those that can be controlled in the design, implementation, and operational stages -- also contribute significantly. As water points age, their likelihood of failure is best predicted by factors that cannot be modified, as well as by the technology used. The paper concludes that, to improve the sustainability of water points, much can be done at the design, implementation, and operational stages. Over time, technology upgrades are important.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02) Joseph, George ; Andres, Luis Alberto ; Chellaraj, Gnanaraj ; Grabinsky Zabludovsky, Jonathan ; Ayling, Sophie Charlotte Emi ; Hoo, Yi RongAccording to the 2015 Tanzania Water Point Mapping data, about 29 percent of all water points are non-functional, out of which 20 percent failed within the first year. This paper analyzes the various factors which impact water point failure and measures the relative contributions of these determinants. The results indicate that water points managed by village committees had a much higher likelihood of failure than those managed by private operators or water authority. Factors that cannot be modified such as hydrogeological factors play a major role in determining water points failure during the first year after installation. However, management type as well as the type of pump and technology matter considerably more in the short and medium term.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-02) Andres, Luis A. ; Bhatt, Samir ; Dasgupta, Basab ; Echenique, Juan A. ; Gething, Peter W. ; Grabinsky Zabludovsky, Jonathan ; Joseph, GeorgeThe paper presents the development and implementation of a geo-spatial model for mapping populations' access to specified types of water and sanitation services in Nigeria. The analysis uses geo-located, population-representative data from the National Water and Sanitation Survey 2015, along with relevant geo-spatial covariates. The model generates predictions for levels of access to seven indicators of water and sanitation services across Nigeria at a resolution of 1×1 square kilometers. The predictions promise to hone the targeting of policies meant to improve access to basic services in various regions of the country.